Hi. I’m Adam, a member of the Atlas Obscura community.
I'm the author of Mysterious Chicago, The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History, and HH Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil, and was chosen by Graceland Cemetery to research and write their upcoming "Who's Who" book. I appear regularly on the History, Travel and Discovery channels, and have worked as a tour guide in Chicago and New York for fifteen years. My research on people connected to the cemetery has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and others.
For questions about this experience, please contact the host directly through Airbnb.
Meet at Graceland's historic entrance for an in-depth tour of the most fascinating stories and monuments at the cemetery, presenting a unique view of Chicago (and American) history. Stories in the cemetery go far beyond the industrialists and "movers and shakers" who ended up with streets named after them. Though the tour will of course include the famous "Inez" and "Eternal Silence" statues, I’ll focus on lesser-known but equally interesting tales, some of which have never been published. Though the route can vary from tour to tour, some of the stories here include Underground Railroad workers, a woman who funded the research behind the first birth control pill, a detective murdered by Jesse James, America's first known female spy, a man whose cause of death was listed as "brutality of policeman," a reporter who saw Einstein naked, and more. The stories will be endlessly fascinating and often hilarious.
The tour covers around a mile over the course of 75-90 minutes. Most of the walk will be on paved surfaces, but we will veer off the road and onto the grass at some points. Restrooms are available in the office before the tour, but, like most cemeteries, there are no restrooms available mid-tour.
Founded in 1860, Graceland Cemetery is one of Chicago's oldest and most historic cemeteries. The founder, Thomas B. Bryan, was probably the only person who knew both Abraham Lincoln and HH Holmes. Though known best as the resting place of many noted architects, stories here go far deeper.
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There are 15 spots available on this experience.
Guests ages 5 and up can attend.
Limited ADA accessibility - the tour does go off-road a bit.